Taking good care of your bones is important, especially as you grow older.
You may not realize it, but your bones are living structures with their own cells and blood vessels, and they do a lot more than simply protect your organs and provide structural support for your body. In your bones is where your blood cells are made and where needed minerals and fat are stored.
Throughout life, your bones are continually regenerating; however, this regeneration occurs at a more rapid rate when you are younger and begins to slow down as you get older. For this reason, making sure your bones get the nutritional support they need as you age can help promote a strong skeletal structure.
What vitamins and minerals do bones need?
First and foremost, your bones need calcium to grow and regenerate. In fact, you’ve probably heard calcium called the “building block” of strong, healthy bones. When you hear people talk about bone density, it is a measurement of how much calcium and other important minerals can be found in your bone tissue.
Healthy bones also need vitamin D. Without it, your body may not be able to absorb key minerals from your diet—including calcium and phosphorus—that are needed for bone health. Vitamin D also supports healthy cell growth and immune function.
But, did you know that without enough magnesium, your body may not be able to use calcium and vitamin D properly?
What is magnesium and why is it so important for bone health?
Magnesium is an essential mineral critical to hundreds of biochemical reactions that occur continually throughout the body every day—from cell growth and energy production to protein synthesis and healthy blood pressure regulation. And, because magnesium interacts with both calcium and vitamin D in the body, it is widely believed that getting enough magnesium in the diet is necessary for healthy bones.
One study in the journal Nutrients involving more than 150,000 men and women between the ages of 39 and 72 found a positive association between a high-magnesium diet and greater bone mineral density, skeletal muscle mass, and grip strength. As a result, the study authors concluded that dietary magnesium may play an important role in musculoskeletal health.
Another study examined the link between dietary magnesium and bone health in young children, and researchers concluded that dietary magnesium intake and total magnesium absorption were closely linked to both bone mineral content and bone mineral density.
How much magnesium does the average adult need?
The Daily Value (DV) for magnesium for ages 4 and above is 420 mg. However, studies have shown that many people may not consume an optimum amount of magnesium. Therefore, taking steps to add more magnesium to your diet is a simple way to support healthy bones.
It is also worth pointing out that older adults tend to get less magnesium in their diet than younger adults, in part because the gut absorbs less magnesium as we age, while the kidneys typically excrete more magnesium. It is also more common for older adults to be taking medications that may affect magnesium absorption and increase their risk of deficiency.
Try these simple ways to increase magnesium intake.
Diet and supplementation are two great ways you can increase your daily magnesium intake. In terms of food sources, magnesium is found in abundance in leafy green veggies, whole grains, nuts, beans and legumes. However, since many Americans don’t get enough of these nutritious foods in their diet, a daily magnesium supplement may be a better option for some individuals.
Natural Vitality CALM is a delicious powder supplement that mixes easily in water, juice, smoothies, or your favorite beverage to help replenish the body’s magnesium levels. The top-selling† drink mix is formulated with nature’s own magnesium carbonate, plus citric acid. When combined with water, this combination creates a solution of magnesium citrate, a highly absorbable form of magnesium that is ideal for daily supplementation.
†SPINS volume sales data, December 2019